BY DAVID PERRYMAN
The series was remarkable in a couple of respects. First, it pitted the two teams who had gone longest without a championship against each other. Second, for nine magical days, America’s attention was diverted from the vitriolic and incendiary presidential campaign rhetoric.
Listening to bits and pieces of the games reminded me of the late 1960’s when I lay in bed at night listening to KMOX 1120, a powerful AM station out of St. Louis. Over my small transistor radio, Harry Caray called Cardinal games telling of the hitting prowess of players like Orlando Cepeda. I was a Harry Caray fan as much as I was a Cardinal fan.
When Harry left the Cardinal organization after 25 years, I was disappointed and when Harry ended up announcing in Chicago for the last 17 seasons of his career, I became somewhat of a Cubs fan.
So for me, the Cubs win was as much a win for Harry as it was for an organization that hadn’t won since the year after Oklahoma was admitted to the union.
Watching and listening to those games could be compared to a country consuming platefuls of “comfort food.” In fact, Game Seven and its final innings gave me the warm feeling of a big plate of mashed potatoes and gravy. It wasn’t that we knew what the outcome would be, but we knew the rules. We knew that a nine-inning game was regulation and that each side was allowed three outs in each inning. We knew that the home team batted last and most importantly, we knew, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
As I write this article, the 2016 election is not over. This election has been one in which the envelope has been pushed time and time again. We don’t know the outcome, but we seldom do. Our anguish is not uncertainty about the outcome, it is the fact that every day for the past several months we have felt as if we don’t know the rules.
Our concepts of decency and propriety have been trampled and destroyed. We are ready for this election to be over and out of our lives.
We must take solace in that America will survive regardless of who wins this election. Despite the rhetoric, our country is strong. There is a common good and it involves compassion and opportunity.
This week, a president will be chosen. He or she might not be our first choice or even our second choice, but the president will be our president. For all the words that have been said and all the rhetoric that has been hurled, the president must be treated like our president.
Baseball is called “America’s Pastime” for many reasons, but mostly because so many of the lessons that we learn from baseball apply to our own lives.
So, it is fitting that as we wait for the ballots to be counted, we remember another one of Yogi’s quips: “Somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.”
Regardless of whether there is a Republican or a Democrat in the White House the next four years, we will best be served if we don’t fight about it. If we follow Yogi’s advice and “get better,” all of America wins.
– David Perryman, a Chickasha Democrat, represents District 56 in the Oklahoma House